Bentley today confirmed that its global sales for the first half of 2011 have increased by 20% on the same period last year. 2978 cars were delivered to customers in the first six months, the best start to a year by Bentley since 2008.
The surge in sales has been led by demand for Bentley’s newly launched Continental GT and the popularity of the brand in China, where sales have increased by 57% on last year’s figures. 680 cars have been sold in China, a new record for Bentley’s fastest growing market.
Europe and the Americas have also performed strongly. Europe has increased its sales by a quarter to 494 and the Americas up by 23% with 907 cars sold in the first half of 2011. The UK has continued its steady growth, up 6% with 533 cars sold, growth held back only by continuing low consumer confidence. However, Bentley continues to increase its market share in its home market.
Other regions have presented a more mixed picture with Asia-Pacific region down marginally - predominantly due to the decline in the Japanese market as a result of the recent tragic natural disaster - and the Middle East which has also declined slightly as a result of the ongoing political unrest.
The new Continental GT is the latest iteration of Bentley’s iconic Continental design and its new exterior and powerful new engines are setting even higher standards of design, engineering, craftsmanship and dynamic driving. Its success is re-energising the brand and attracting a new era of Bentley customers. At the same time demand for Bentley’s flagship model, the Mulsanne, is also extremely strong and the wider Continental range continues to perform well.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley’s Chief Executive said:
“With our largest markets achieving significant growth we are on track to meet our targets for the full year. It’s an exciting time for Bentley as we continue to invest in new product developmen. With more new model launches later this year we foresee this growth continuing into 2012 and beyond.”
Alasdair Stewart, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Sales and Marketing said:
“Our half-year figures show that Bentley sales are rebounding and confidence is returning to many markets. We expect this growth to continue as customers around the world take delivery of the new Continental GT.”
Bentley Motors is the third largest R&D investor in the UK’s automotive sector.
The company employs almost 4,000 people in Crewe which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury vehicle manufacturers such as Bentley. It is an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley exports over £500m worth of goods every year to established markets like the US, as well as emerging markets such as China and South America.
Earlier this year Bentley announced that China had outsold the UK for the first time making it the second most important market after the United States - with half year sales up by 57%, around one in four Bentleys sold globally is now sold in China.